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    Jackson Hole Central Bankers Reflect on QE2 Amid Pressure for New Stimulus


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    Posts : 34
    Join date : 2011-08-10

    Jackson Hole Central Bankers Reflect on QE2 Amid Pressure for New Stimulus

    Post  hurricanemaxi on Mon 22 Aug 2011, 8:48 pm

    Chairman Ben S. Bernanke has big shoes to fill this week when he speaks at the Federal Reserve’s annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming: His own.

    Last year, Bernanke hinted that the Fed might embark on a second round of asset purchases to bolster the recovery, kicking off a 28 percent rally in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index of stocks that ended in a three-year high on April 29.

    Now, any boost to the economy from the Fed’s $600 billion of bond buying is hard to detect, with growth slowing to a less- than-1-percent annual pace in the first half, the U.S. losing its top credit rating from S&P and stocks falling about 18 percent from their peak.

    The deterioration -- coupled with a government that’s cutting spending and showed itself to be “dysfunctional” ahead of the debt-ceiling expiration this month -- increases the pressure on the U.S. central bank to show it can and will help expansion, according to Neal Soss, chief economist at Credit Suisse Holdings USA Inc.

    Policy makers this month pledged to keep their benchmark interest rate near zero until at least mid-2013 and also said they “discussed the range of policy tools” available, signaling they may add to their record stimulus.

    Bernanke will be making “a major speech and the chairman knows the whole world is watching, so if he chooses not to say very much, the markets and the economy in some broader sense would be disappointed,” said Soss, a former economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. “It’s absolutely critical that the Federal Reserve portray itself as having some relevance to the economic problems the society faces.”
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